Google Maps has come up with a new feature that points you in the right direction if your cab driver goes off route to increase the fare.
The alert will sound if a taxi driver shifts more than 500 metres from the fastest route plotted by the map app.
The app is live on Google Maps right now, but not everyone can access the money and time saving feature as the software giant is testing how the alert works.
Using the app is simple – just pick your destination when the cab ride starts and Google Maps will work out the most direct and fastest route plus a couple of other options to account for traffic or other issues.
The app will flag a ‘Stay Safer’ option.
How the stay safe app works
Pressing that reveals on option to pick ‘off-route alerts’ which will flag if a taxi or other ride goes off-route.
The feature as several applications:
- Plotting the quickest route to your destination
- Making sure a taxi driver does not pile on the charges by taking you on a detour
- Keeping passengers safe if a driver takes a diversion
The apps ends a message to the phone when the driver deviates by just 500 metres, which lets you ask where the driver is going and gives them a chance to get back on track.
Google suggests not getting into a panic if a taxi driver goes a different way than the Maps app suggests as local road works or short cuts may make for a quicker trip.
Google Maps hacks
Besides the smart new off-route alert Google Maps comes with some other handy hacks that are worth revisiting.
Uber and other ride apps are integrated into Google Maps, and although you can’t book your ride, you can click the icon of a man hailing a cab to go direct to the app.
If you need something quick, like a loo, coffee or fuel, just type the keyword into Google Map’s search box and the app will flag the nearest facilities you are looking for.
If you want to know how far away something is, just right click the map and select ‘measure distance’ to see if somewhere is close enough to walk or to see if you need a ride.